By Tony George
Plaxico Buress was not the only person to shoot himself in the leg this weekend, as Missouri shot themselves on national television with a surprising loss to Kansas as a 14+ point favorite, while Oklahoma scored 61 points on the 11th ranked team in the nation, jumped Texas in BCS ratings. Now Oklahoma has a date with either Florida or Alabama in a national title game after they beat Mizzou at Arrowhead this weekend. Did I just assume they would beat Mizzou? The question is can Mizzou attempt to mount a defense and or a winning attitude against the Sooners, who no doubt are playing as well as anyone in the USA right now. Mizzou opened up as a 16 point dog, and the line is bound to climb. Guess you know how I feel about that one boys in terms of a straight up winner.
Is is apparent to anyone who pays attention, the Big 12 South could field either of 3 teams tied at seasons end in Texas, Texas Tech and OU against the North champion and win the game, even in Mizzou's backyard. I am not one to beleaguer Missouri's plight, but no team from the North could beat OU they way they have played the past 5 games, and if they bring that same game face to Kansas City on Saturday, it is a tall chore for Mizzou to compete they way the looked last week. Stranger things have happened, but Missouri failed twice last season to crack the Sooners, with a better team, so unless OU fails to prepare or to get off the bus, I feel the once highly touted Tigers and former Heisman hopeful Chase Daniel could be in for a long night.
This was a crazy year in the North this season as Kansas failed to live up to expectations all season and then beat their rival Missouri in one of the better games in college football this season. Kansas State fired Ron Prince and then bought back their own used car in Bill Snyder, a bad decision in my opinion. Nebraska rose from the ashes and shadow of Bill Callahan with Bo Pellini at the helm and had an 8-4 season, took Texas tech into Overtime in Lubbock, and now are looking at a nice bowl game this season.
Colorado was a huge disappointment this season but have young talent and showed signs of potential for the future. When the head coach benches his son as the starting QB, you know Dan Hawkins offense might not be cut out for the Big 12 like it was at Boise State, time will tell. Iowa State proved to be a bottom feeder and look for answers in 2009, no doubt from the JUCO ranks. Missouri was the biggest disappointment of all, they got beaten by every ranked team they played and blown out badly by Texas. Many though including myself this was a national contender, and no doubt unless a miracle happens are staring at 4 looses and NO BCS bowl game. Kansas saved their season by beating MU this past Saturday and will get a nice Bowl game to showcase QB Reesing who is one of the better QB's in the Big 12. Kansas's schedule was brutal in the second half of the season, but Magino again proved to a great hire for KU and will have them competing again in 2009.
You could flip a coin 3 times on a neutral field and make a case for either Oklahoma, Texas or Texas Tech as to who is better on any given Saturday. It all boils down to style points, and OU looked better and won big games down the stretch in convincing fashion to get the prize. Texas Tech loses QB Harrell and WR Crabtree (no doubt will leave for the NFL) next year, but Mike Leach for sure put them on the radar screen big time in 2008. Texas is loaded for the future and may in fact get a "at large" bid to a BCS game this season and win it. It goes without saying that those 3 are Top 12 teams in the nation. Texas AM was an experiment this season that ended with a huge loss to Texas in the annual rivalry game, showing they have a long way to go, and defense should be the emphasis for recruiting.
Baylor showed signs of life and gave Texas Tech all they wanted in their finale. I do think Baylor will be even better in 2009 and QB Griffin one of the better QB's in the conference. A well coached and prepared team week in and week out. Lastly the poor Okie State Cowboys, whose only claim to fame was beating Missouri in Columbia, a soon to be 4 loss team. they could not pull the upset in Austin this season, and lost badly to OU and Texas Tech. Mike Gundy has an explosive team who does not play defense all that well, but none the less made a decent showing in a tough Big 12 division and in my opinion will win a bowl game this season in a big way.
Yes the South carried the North in the national media, and I do think the Big 12 champion gets a shot at the SEC Champion if OU wins this Saturday and I predict that Bob Stoops gets off the BCS losing wagon and the Big 12 will house the national title champion in 2008. The Big 12 conference should have 7 bowl teams this year and I like their chances against also rans from other conferences. I appreciate your following my weekly reports this season and look for those bowl picks on teams from the Big 12 as I went 4-1 last year with my bowl picks on teams from the Big 12.